What is a Side Hustle? And How to Start Your Own

What is a side hustle, and should you be investing in one of your own?

Side hustles are becoming increasingly popular in today’s world. Offering everyday people an opportunity to earn extra income on top of their typical job, side hustles are common in today’s economy. In fact, some studies suggest around 39% of all Americans have a “side hustle”.

The right “side gig” gives you an opportunity to explore additional sources of income, improve your financial situation, and even pursue your passions, without compromising on a regular income.

Here’s everything you need to know about side hustles, their benefits, and the opportunities available for ambitious individuals today.

What is a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is essentially an extra employment opportunity, or mode of making money outside of your full-time job. When you start a side hustle, you retain your current job, to ensure you have access to a consistent source of income, but you also look for supplementary roles on the side.

Unlike the average “part time job” a side hustle generally gives people more freedom and control over their earning activities. You can choose exactly how many hours you want to devote to your side hustle, what kind of things you want to do, and even who you work with.

This means side hustles don’t just give people an opportunity to earn extra money, they can also offer a chance to explore your passions and talents. Eventually, your side hustle could even become your primary, full-time career.

The Benefits of Running a Side Hustle

Side hustles have become increasingly common in recent years, particularly among younger generations, dealing with issues like an unstable economy and high costs of living. Around 76% of Gen Z adults have a side hustle, and believe these gigs are crucial to paying their bills.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a side hustle is that it offers greater financial security, and access to additional income. You can use your side hustle to pay off debts, achieve your saving goals, or simply give yourself more disposable cash to work with.

Side hustles also offer benefits like:

  • Increased flexibility: A side hustle generally offers more flexibility than a second or part-time job. You can integrate your new earning strategy into your schedule however you choose, ensuring you maintain a good work-life balance.
  • Options to explore your passions: One of the biggest benefits of side hustles is they give you an opportunity to pursue earning strategies you’re passionate about. You can do things you genuinely enjoy, without having to worry as much about income.
  • Build experience: A side hustle gives you a chance to develop experience in an industry you really care about. You can use it to develop a portfolio for your creative career, and improve your chances of turning your side hustle into a full-time job.
  • Increase your confidence: Side hustles often involve a form of self-employment. Become a self-employed freelancer can improve your confidence, and teach you skills for mental fortitude. You might find you’re a lot happier with a side hustle.
  • Discover new skills: Running a side hustle requires you to learn a variety of new skills, from how to market and sell yourself, to how to create content and communicate with clients. You can even build leadership skills that help you to thrive in your primary career.

15 Great Side Hustle Ideas to Explore

These days, there are no shortage of amazing options to explore if you want to start a lucrative side hustle. Whether you want your side job to revolve around the digital world, or you want to launch a small business in your local area, you’ll have plenty of opportunities.

Here are some of the best side hustle ideas worth checking out this year.

Dog Walker (or Pet Sitting)

If you’re an animal lover with a good knowledge of how to handle and care for our canine companions, then a dog walking job could be ideal for you. You can offer your services to local customers in your town or city, using sites like “Rover”.

Plus, there are plenty of ways to expand the earning potential of your dog walking job. You could offer training services if you have the know-how. Or you could consider offering pet sitting to people who need someone to watch their animals for longer periods of time.

Blogging (Freelance Writing)

Blogging can be one of the best ways to make money online. All you need is a passion for writing, research, and sharing information with others. You can even start a blog focusing on the niche you’re most interested in, such as fashion or beauty.

There are various ways to make money from blogging. You can create content and offer proofreading to companies in exchange for an hourly fee. Alternatively, you could try affiliate marketing, and earn a passive income from commissions earned from other brands. You will need to work on building your online presence to make sure you can earn a good income from blogging, however.

Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant can be a valuable resource to many business owners in today’s busy world. These professionals work with other companies on a range of tasks, from researching content, to answering emails and messages, and even organizing calendars.

If you have excellent time management and organization skills, this could be a great side hustle for you. You can even work from home, and choose exactly which clients you want to work with. Just make sure you’re constantly communicating with clients to ensure loyalty and retention.

Tutoring or Teaching

You don’t necessarily need a degree in education to share your knowledge with the world today. Countless people searching for a side income have made a fortune by tutoring others in specific skills, such as music, business management, or finance.

You can even increase your chances of making money online by creating courses you can sell to customers on online education marketplaces. Or you can create a community website where people pay for subscriptions to your educational resources.

Tax Management or Bookkeeping

If you have excellent mathematical skills, and a good knowledge of the financial industry, you could make a significant income as a tax preparer, accountant, or bookkeeper. You can assist people in collecting their work and tax information, and create tax reports at the end of each financial year.

There’s also the opportunity to build your income throughout the year by offering consultation and guidance to companies who need more financial help. Becoming a certified accountant can help you to seriously increase your income here.

Graphic Design

Great for those with a creative flair, a side hustle in graphic design means you can use your spare time creating all kinds of visual assets for others. You might specialize in logo design, creating animations for websites, or designing full site themes.

There are plenty of ways to find graphic design opportunities in the gig economy too. For instance, you can bid for opportunities on sites like Fiverr or Upwork, or focus on promoting your own portfolio and connecting with clients on LinkedIn.

Ecommerce seller

A second job as an ecommerce store owner used to be a lot more complicated than it is today. You don’t necessarily need advanced business management skills. You can design a website on a platform like Shopify or Instacart, and use dropshipping to delegate the fulfilment process to another company.

Alternatively, you can keep your store management tasks to a minimum, by selling through marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon, and Ebay.

Ride-share Driver

Thanks to companies like Uber and Lyft, rideshare driving has become one of the most popular ways to earn extra income as an independent contractor. You’ll need to go through a vetting process to join most companies, and own your own car, but getting started is often quite simple.

Plus, you can dedicate as much time to your second job as you like, deciding exactly when you want to access the app and accept requests for extra cash.

Food Delivery Driver

Similar to Uber and Lyft, companies like Doordash have given plenty of side hustlers a new way to make extra money. Once again, you’ll need your own car, but you can make a decent income depending on how much time you’re willing to commit to the process.

Working as a food delivery driver is a wonderful way to fit your own business ventures around our primary job, according to your own schedule.


Babysitting isn’t just a great side job for teenagers and youngers looking for a way to pay off their student loans a little faster anymore. It can be a great strategy for anyone who wants to earn income from more than just their standard day job.

The biggest challenge with babysitting is earning the trust of your customers. However, if you have a caring and compassionate attitude, you can end up with plenty of repeat customers.

Airbnb Host

If you have spare space in your home, or another property you can rent out to travellers from around the world, then you can make a lot of extra cash as an Airbnb host. This is a good side hustle for people who want to make money with minimal effort.

All you need to do is make sure the space you’re renting out stays clean and comfortable, and commit a little time to marketing your property.

Social Media Influencer

Influencer marketing is constantly growing in value, making it a great business idea for someone who knows how to leverage social media to connect with a wide audience. You don’t need millions of followers to earn an income. There are plenty of companies looking for opportunities to work with smaller (micro) influencers, who appeal to a specific niche.

To make the most out of this strategy, ensure you’re connecting with a specific audience on social media, and focus on constantly driving engagement.


Ideal for those who are great with DIY, a handyman role can be a fantastic way to use your unique skills to earn money upfront. You can support customers with everything from fixing common problems around the home, to building furniture and installing shelves.

Sites like TaskRabbit will allow you to showcase your skills to local customers, and access a range of earning opportunities, with very little effort.

Print on Demand Selling

Similar to dropshipping, print on demand selling has become extremely popular in recent years. It’s ideal for those who want to start a creative business without a lot of upfront costs. You can use “POD” vendors to add your own designs to a range of items, from notebooks to clothing.

Plus, it’s easy to experiment with your product portfolio with print on demand. You only pay for products when you make a sale, so there’s minimal risk involved for your startup.


Similar to being a freelance writer or content creator, podcasting involves creating engaging content that connects to your target audience in a specific niche. There are thousands of podcasts available on channels like Apple Music and Spotify today, and you’ll have a huge marketplace to connect with.

Podcasting is also a brilliant way to explore your passions, meet new people, and build your credibility in any industry. All you really need is a microphone, a hosting platform, and a little time.

Launching Your Own Side Hustle

A side hustle can be an excellent way to use your free time more productively. Not only will you be able to earn extra money, but you can pursue your passions, learn new skills, and potentially pave the way for a brand-new career.

With so many options available in today’s digital world, there’s never been a better time to launch your own side hustle, and start expanding your income.

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